Psychology Department Policy Handbook 2020-21

Deadlines & Procedures


  • The Application for Degree must be completed online. The link for the application is on myBama. You will be notified by email when it has been approved.
  • For clinical students: As of 10/27/09, you must have 8 weeks between meetings/defenses. This will include thesis proposal meeting to thesis final defense, thesis final defense to dissertation mini-oral meeting, dissertation mini-oral meeting to dissertation prelim defense, and the dissertation prelim defense to the dissertation final defense. You may still schedule as many dissertation mini oral meetings as needed with no time requirements. Also, the preliminary exam must be successfully defended by October 1st to apply for internship. A student may take the oral or written examination only twice. Failing the examination twice results in dismissal from the degree program and the Graduate School.
  • The doctoral plan of study must be filed no later than the semester during which the student will complete 30 semester hours of UA and/or transfer credit toward the doctoral degree. If it is not filed, a hold will be placed on your registration for the following semester. Mary Beth Hubbard is completing these for students and will contact you about it.
  • Once a student has met the requirements for admission to candidacy, received approval for the dissertation research proposal, or initiated enrollment in 699 (dissertation research for a doctoral degree), the student must pursue completion of the dissertation without interruption why enrolling each fall and spring semester of the academic year for at least 3 hours of dissertation research. This is explained fully in the document Minimum Registration Requirements. Further, if you defend at the end of one semester but do not submit your dissertation to the Graduate School for approval until after the end of the semester (the date grades are due), you must register for 1-3 dissertation hours the following semester. If you submit your dissertation before the end of the drop/add period, you may register for 1 hour; if you submit it after the drop/add period, you must register for 3 hours.
  • To earn the MA, you need 24 hours of coursework in your curriculum, 6 hours of thesis, and a completed and approved thesis. The 24 hours of coursework will vary from one concentration to the next but must include PY 607 and PY 602.
  • Grad students can apply for research or travel awards of $300-$600 twice a year through the department, in August and in January. Watch email for announcements.

Department Resources





  • 2020-Graduate Student Handbook : Contains information about the organization, policies, and procedures of the graduate program in psychology. It applies to all tracks in the clinical and experimental psychology PhD programs. It should be used along with other primary references listed below.This version supersedes all earlier versions.
  • Departmental Bound Copies: Information about binding and distribution of bound copies of your doctoral dissertation is provided on this page.
  • Transfer of Graduate Credit: Find out how to transfer graduate course credit taken outside of UA. Note: this should be done in April of the first year.

Climate Improvement Resources

The climate improvement system grew out of the PGSA-run Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion(DEI) Survey and is intended to facilitate a dialogue regarding climate and DEI, and to serve as a starting-point for departmental change. The survey is distributed once a year, and provides an opportunity for psychology graduate students to provide anonymous feedback about the departmental climate. Distribution of survey results will be followed by a department-wide town hall meeting and a formal response letter from the faculty, including action items.

Goals of the System:

This system is intended to provide:

  • A chance for graduate students to voice their concerns,as anonymously as possible,and have those concerns heard, and responded to, by faculty.
  • A chance for faculty to learn ways to improve.
  • An ongoing cycle of honest communication.
Off-Cycle Submissions:

Although the survey is officially administered once a year, graduate students can submit feedback regarding departmental climate and DEI at any time.

Off-cycle feedback can be submitted via The Climate Improvement System Off-Cycle Form.

Related Resources:

DEI Incident Reporting

  • The UA Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion provides multiple avenues for reporting incidents, including a hate and bias hotline, a hate and bias reporting form, title IX information to report allegations of sexual misconduct, student conduct reporting options, and equal opportunity, nondiscrimination and disability reporting.

Division of Student Life – Complaints and Appeals

  • The UA Division of Student Life offers an avenue for submitting complaints regarding issues that cannot be successfully resolved with the staff or department involved.

Designated Harassment Resource Persons

  • The Harassment Resource Persons are appointed by each college, school, or administrative division to serve as designated officials to receive complaints of harassment.


Faculty Senate Ombudspersons

  • The faculty ombudsperson is an impartial and confidential resource to assist faculty in resolving problems, complaints, conflicts, and other issues. The ombudsperson’s ultimate goal is to assist faculty in finding equitable, just, and timely resolutions to problems. As a neutral resource, the ombudsperson does not take sides; instead, he/she attempts to address issues in an impartial and objective manner.


Clinical Resources

Experimental Resources

Research Resources

  • Introductory Psychology Subject Pool: List times for your experiment, check sign-ups, and award credits. For questions or to post an experiment, contact Dr. Sheila Black at
  • Research Overhead 1st year Travel Request Form: First-year students may request up to $300 to defray the cost of travel to a research/professional conference during their first year of study. Alternatively, for the 2020-21 school year only, they may choose to request up to $300 to defray the cost of any research-related activity (e.g., purchasing materials, participant recruitment expenses, and so on). These funding options are mutually exclusive (i.e., you select one of them but not both). We expect to resume the standing policy of using funds for conference attendance only next year. This form should be completed and submitted to the graduate program assistant before the travel begins. In the “Approval” field, please put the name of your advisor. If the funds are being requested for research-related activity and not conference travel, insert “NA” into the fields that probe for conference-attendance information.


Reimbursements/Travel  Resources  For Students

The reimbursement amount for mileage for travel on or after 1-1-2020 is 57.5 cents per mile. Please find the newest worksheet to complete when requesting reimbursement for travel in 2020.

Accounting prefers that students no longer share expenses as this complicates the reimbursement process on their end and also requires extra documentation from all parties involved. To clarify, you may share a room and each pay their portion at the time of checkout.

Please find Copy of Meal-Reimbursement-Worksheet-for-Non-UA-Employees-to be completed for reimbursement requests and given or emailed to me in PDF format. The Meal and Mileage Form is only needed if requesting reimbursement for mileage and/or meals. Receipts are not required for meals and remember the tip must not be greater than 20%. International Travel is the reimbursed at the same rate as US travel. The original receipts (excluding meal receipts) may be given to me or emailed as a PDF. Proof of payment for lodging and flight is needed if paid with a check, credit card or other form of payment. Your flight itinerary will need to be included and flight miles are not reimbursed. Your lodging receipt must be itemized listing the daily charges and how payment was made.

Here is some new information as well that you need to understand concerning lodging.

Anytime there are students traveling on behalf of UA for business purposes, Risk Management needs to approve/assess the booking of Home Sharing and AirBnB prior to the reservation or stay.  This is for the safety of the student as well as UA. UA will reimburse a student for lodging expenses at an AirBnB; however, it will require Risk Managements approval. You may contact Robby Plumb at 348-7521 or email to get an approval.

If you have any questions or concerns the following website has detailed information that might be helpful.

  • Financial Assistance Handbook: The psychology department finds funding for most funding-eligible students, but this document lists additional funding sources including some grants and scholarships for which students can apply.
  • Graduate Catalog: Information that applies to all University of Alabama graduate programs, as well as specific information related to the psychology program. Psychology graduate students must adhere to Graduate School guidelines. In some instances, the standards or guidelines of the psychology program are more rigorous than those of the Graduate School. In such instances, psychology graduate students must follow the psychology program guidelines.
  • Graduate School Website: More information for graduate students, including Graduate Community News, Events and Activities for graduate students, a multitude of essential Web Forms.
  • GSA Travel & Research Funding: This is a last chance funding opportunity for graduate students who have unsuccessfully attempted to receive funding from other sources (e.g., the psychology department). Please be sure to read the linked document carefully. A number of additional documents are described and required for submission.
  • Pivot Funding Database: This is a tool that allows customized search of available opportunities for research funding. The University provides more information and account creation instructions.

General Resources

  • APA Ethics Code: Contains the American Psychological Association’s ethical principles and code of conduct for psychologists engaging in research or practice.
  • RefWorks: Web-based tool designed to help researchers manage and share information and generate citations and bibliographies. For users of programs like EndNote, RefWorks will be familiar, but with the advantages that it is accessible (24/7) from anywhere with no software to install. There are links to the tutorials and for on-campus and off-campus access, as well as pointers to support options.